7.5/10
66,243
240 user 101 critic

American Graffiti (1973)

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
1,607 ( 1)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Steve (as Ronny Howard)
...
...
Terry (as Charlie Martin Smith)
...
...
...
...
...
Joe
...
Beau Gentry ...
...
Jim Bohan ...
Jana Bellan ...
Deby Celiz ...
Edit

Storyline

It's the proverbial end of the summer 1962 in a small southern California town. It's the evening before best friends and recent high school graduates, Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander, are scheduled to leave town to head to college back east. Curt, who received a lucrative local scholarship, is seen as the promise that their class holds. But Curt is having second thoughts about leaving what Steve basically sees as their dead end town. Curt's beliefs are strengthened when he spots an unknown beautiful blonde in a T-bird who mouths the words "I love you" to him. As Curt tries to find that blonde while trying to get away from a local gang who have him somewhat hostage, Curt may come to a decision about his immediate future. Outgoing class president Steve, on the other hand, wants to leave, despite meaning that he will leave girlfriend, head cheerleader and Curt's sister, Laurie Henderson, behind. Steve and Laurie spend the evening "negotiating" the state of their relationship. Meanwhile... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...is back! [1978 Re-release] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1973 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Another Slow Night in Modesto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$115,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (1978) | (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby System®)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was beset by a series of misfortunes and disasters. The day before filming was due to start a key member of the crew was arrested for growing marijuana. On the first night of shooting it took so long to get the cameras mounted onto the cars that filming didn't get started until 2 a.m., putting the crew half a night behind schedule before they'd even started. Most of the outdoor footage was to be shot in San Rafael. After the first night of shooting the city revoked the crew's filming permit due to complaints from a bar owner that their blocking off of the main street was costing him business. Filming proceeded in San Rafael for three more nights, then moved to Petaluma, 20 miles away. On the second night of shooting a fire in a nearby restaurant brought fire trucks into the area, their sirens and the resulting traffic jam preventing any filming. See more »

Goofs

When the Pharaohs take Curt to loot pinball machines, Mr Gordon invites Curt into the diner to see Hank. When Curt is conversing with Hank and Mr Gordon, the scene changes perspective, after which all background labeled items and signs read backwards or are "mirror reversed" in the shot. It is most likely an edit correction to keep the orientation of direction correct from where Curt walked in and Joe sticks his head in to let them know they are finished. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Terry Fields: Hey, what do you say, Curt? Last night in town... you guys gonna have a little bash before you leave?
Steve Bolander: The Moose have been looking for you all day.
[hands a check to Curt]
Steve Bolander: They got worried... thought you were trying to avoid them or something.
Terry Fields: What is it? What do ya got?
Curt Henderson: Oh, great.
Terry Fields: That's $2,000 man! Two thousand dollars!
Steve Bolander: Mr. Jennings gave it to me to give to you. He says he's sorry it's so late, but it's the first scholarship the Moose Lodge has given out. And he, uh, says they're ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Worded epilogues prior to the credits shows what happen to the characters following the movie. While this has since become commonplace in films, it was considered innovative at the time. See more »


Soundtracks

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Music by Jerome Kern (uncredited)
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach (uncredited)
The Platters
Courtesy of Mercury Records:
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Where were you in '62?" (Original ad)
28 November 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nostalgic look at one night/morning of a small California town and some of its teenagers. Story-wise this is nothing new--all the stereotypes are in place--the loving/bickering couple (Ron Howard and Cindy Williams); the rebel (Paul Le Mal) stuck with a 13 year old (Mackenzie Phuillips); the nerd (Charles Martin Smith) having a disastrous date with a blonde (Candy Clark); the hood (Bo Hopkins) showing the good boy (Richard Dreyfuss) a night out and Harrison Ford and Suzanne Somers in small parts.

What makes this movie better than average is the great direction by George Lucas--he fills the Cinemascope screen masterfully; the non-stop soundtrack of 50s/60s hits; a great script and the cast of then-unknowns. It's incredible to see some of these actors so young (especially Ford and Dreyfuss) and full of life. Without this cast, this movie would probably have long-since been forgotten.

So, no great shakes, but very sweet and nostalgic with some good acting. Worth catching. Try to see it letter-boxed or on a big screen.


36 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page